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Students/Faculty News Kevin Storr May 26, 2018

Amy Miskimon Goss, PhD, RD, postdoctoral fellow in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) and Department of Nutrition Sciences, is the recipient of a Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award.

The award will fund her research titled "Carbohydrate Restricted Diet to Reverse Fatty Liver in Adolescents with Obesity." The objective of the Fund is “to provide grants for clinical, hypothesis-driven research that offers substantial promise for meaningful advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of children’s diseases, particularly research that offers broad-based applications.”

The Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award Program is especially interested in supporting the work of such young investigators as Goss who demonstrate excellent potential to achieve advances in improving children’s health.

Goss’s proposed research addresses the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which “has emerged as the most common cause of liver disease among children and adolescents in industrialized countries.”

The study aims to test the hypothesis that carbohydrate restriction versus a standard reduced-fat diet will induce rapid reversal of fatty liver, inflammation, and insulin resistance in obese adolescents with NAFLD. The two-arm, parallel study will enroll 40 overweight/obese adolescent participants (Tanner physical development stage 4 or higher, ranging in age from 13 to 17) with elevated serum aminotransferase levels and diffusely echogenic liver confirmed via ultrasound. The participants will be randomized to either a carbohydrate restricted diet or a reduced-fat diet for a period of eight weeks. Anthropometric/metabolic evaluations will be made at baseline, week two, week six, and week eight.

Goss predicts that results will prove to be an initial step toward developing evidence-based dietary recommendations as an integral part of treating children presenting with NAFLD.

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